F3 Cup Team Focus: Mark Bailey Racing
01/08/2011 - In the first of series of features, find out how F3 Cup's Mark Bailey Racing has become a force in Formula 3.
01/08/2011 - Over the years Mark Bailey Racing has become a force in Formula 3 and after their involvement in the F3 Cup they have no plans to stop.
Competing in this year's F3 Cup with regular drivers Nick Robinson and Stuart Wiltshire, and also with Frank Thomas who has so far just competed at Spa but is due to race in the UK later in 2011. The team based near Chippenham have been at the forefront of national Formula 3 and after more than 20 years in motor sport the desire to race remains ever present.
Mark Bailey Racing was originally formed by former racer Mark Bailey in 1989 and began racing Formula Ford, before moving into Formula 3 in the early 1990's. Racing in the F3 Championships, the team enjoyed instant and prolonged success before a switch to sportscars in 1997. Mark Bailey Racing, who also construct and service Hewland racing transmissions, returned to Formula 3 in 2000 where they have remained, joining the MSVR run F3 Cup this year.
Team founder Mark Bailey said: "We started off many moons ago in Formula Ford but after that I did F3 myself in the TF3 and ARP F3 Championships. The team has gone through several marque changes over the years but we have gone full circle now with us competing in F3 in the F3 Cup.
"We always had two or three sides to the business and the race team has always been part of it. It wasn't massively tough to set up the team because I was already racing, but making money out of motor sport is difficult. What we aim for is results that's got to be the prime goal, but a good team atmosphere also has to be part of it."
The team has enjoyed plenty of success including triumphs at the famous Le Mans and Kyalami circuits, using their MBR972 sportscar constructed in the factory. Alongside their success in sportscars, Mark's squad have a vast selection of F3 highlights to look back on, including rewarding test drives to former Williams and Minardi F1 drivers Marc Gene and Alex Yoong. The team also ran sportscar ace Johnny Mowlem in the early stages of his career helping him progress up the motorsport ladder, with a drive in the F3 B Class.
He said: "We have raced in a night race at Le Mans in the International Sports Racing Series. That was absolutely superb and we got to race sports cars all over the world. We finished second in the championship in our first year and our first new car that we took to Kyalami managed to claim pole position first time out which was quite impressive. But the F3 highlights which stick out most are winning the F3 Championship scholarship class in 1992 with Paul Evans. We also won the ARP Formula 3 Championship two years running with Richard Marsh
"At the time Johnny Mowlem wanted to drive F3 cars and we had a car available for him. I met Johnny through the other side of the business supplying racing transmissions, which were being used by Paul Stewart Racing in F3 and Formula 3000. We ran Johnny in F3 and he was a very talented pilot."
Although the F3 Cup season is far from over, with meetings at Brands Hatch GP, Anglesey, Silverstone and Oulton Park remaining, Mark Bailey Racing have hinted they wish to remain in the F3 Cup next season.
He added: "To be fair the F3 Cup is very good and the website is very informative. I think if it carries on with the same enthusiasm then it will really take off in the next few years. The buzz for us is getting drivers and propelling them up the grid and we are doing that so that's great.
"I thoroughly enjoy the F3 Cup and it is cost effective. We still want to do the special projects, and long term goals we've still got are running an historic Formula One Car and possibly something at Le Mans."
For more information on Mark Bailey Racing please CLICK HERE.
The F3 Cup heads to the spectacular Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit for round six of the season on 20-21 August.